Contact Us

I would love to hear from you

Roger Seip Co-founder
The Memory Disorder that Everyone Wants
by Roger On June 14, 2017

Everyone has seen the television trope of the genius who remembers everything he or she has ever read or encountered. It seems like some type of Hollywood superpower made up for the sake of saving time because the show is only 30 minutes long. Actually, a super memory is something a small percentage of people all over the world possesses. Hyperthymesia, or Total Memory Recall, is the trait of having an overly acute autobiographical memory. Basically, those who have hyperthymesia remember every encounter they have ever had, every moment in their lives, in perfect detail. Only about 12 people in recorded history have ever been diagnosed with hyperthymesia. Below is a quick synopsis of how this disorder works and an overview of a couple cases of people diagnosed with hyperthymesia.

Characteristics of Hyperthymesia

Like most abnormal brain conditions, hyperthymesia comes with the good and the bad. There are obvious advantages to remembering everything which has ever happened in one’s life. Firstly, the memories usually start around puberty, which means that the important aspects of a person’s adult life will likely fall within the realm of his or her extraordinary memory. Furthermore, never forgetting anything means never having to write anything down. Dates, like birthdays or anniversaries, as well as conversations shared between friends and family come into the brain as if they has just happened. Unfortunately, for some who have been diagnosed with hyperthymesia, building and maintaining relationships is difficult. This is understandable because it must be difficult to argue or disagree with someone who is literally always right.

Another issue which plagues those with total memory recall is wandering thoughts. It is not easy for those with total memory recall to stay on task. Think about it this way: when making eggs and toast for breakfast, it doesn’t typically bring up any significant memories for everyday people. However, making eggs and toast for someone with hyperthymesia means they can easily start to remember every other time they have ever had eggs and toast. This can mean a lot of perfectly detailed memories all playing in quick succession. This disruption can happen in any daily situation or interaction. To top it off, hyperthymestic individuals often lack the ability to control the association of their thoughts according to researchers in California. This can cause prolonged, uncontrollable lapses in time during which an individual is simply remembering past associations.

Notable Cases of Hyperthymesia

Jill Price
The first recorded case of hyperthymesia was that of Jill Price of Southern California who was studied by researchers in the state for her extraordinary memory. She can remember every aspect of her life beginning on February 5, 1980. She was 14 years old at that time. While doctors have hypothesized that her condition can be explained as a highly intricate form of obsessive compulsive disorder, Price herself rejects that claim. A book she co-wrote about her condition entitled The Woman Who Can’t Forget: The Extraordinary Story of Living with the Most Remarkable Memory Known to Science explains her condition in her own words along with some of the struggles that come about while living with hyperthymesia.

Aurelien Hayman
This British man was diagnosed with hyperthymesia at 20 years of age and holds his total memory recall in a different regard than his American counterpart. He sees his diagnosis as a gift and, while an interesting trait, it does not affect his life so much that he would consider it negative. For example, as a university student, he stated that because the disorder only helps him remember personal details of his life, that it is virtually obsolete when it comes to his schoolwork as an English literature major. A documentary about his life entitled The Boy Who Can’t Forget was aired in 2012 and can still be found online.

Final Thoughts

Hyperthymesia, while seeming to be a great blessing, can be a hard disorder to have for some. In this case, its beauty is truly in the eye of its beholder. While some, like Jill Price, may struggle with the diagnosis, others may see it as an endless possibility. Alas, we can’t all have perfect memories, so it is important to remember that we do all we can to care for the imperfect ones we possess.

Worst Shark Tank Products Ever
by Roger On June 7, 2017

It’s 2017 and everyone wants to brand themselves and their business in a way that sets them apart. With so many products on the market, half of what it takes to get your business off the ground is having a marketable, interesting product. Unfortunately, the creators of these five products missed the memo. The best pitch in the world couldn’t save these items from being eaten alive by the sharks.

5. Elephant chat: Do you ever miss the way it felt when your mom made you and your sibling talk through a fight by taking turns whilst she presided? If so, you’ll love Elephant Chat. Except the elephant is your mom and you have to hold it while you air your grievances with your spouse. We wish we were kidding. Turns out the only “elephant in the room” was what a terrible idea this was.

4. 180 Cup: Every college students’ worst nightmare come to life, the 180 Cup is a plastic cup which, when flipped over, has a shot glass on the bottom. The problem lies in the constant flipping over of the cup. Spoiler alert: any party utilizing 180 Cup ends with more booze on shoes than in stomachs and will go down in history as the worst party ever.

3. Wake ’n’ Bacon: This wooden alarm clock cooks your bacon for you when it wakes you up. Now, stop and think about all the horrible parts of that sentence. Firstly, a wooden alarm clock is cooking bacon. We’re surprised that sentence itself didn’t just burst into flames, so it’s only a matter of time before someone’s home does. Secondly, that bacon will have to be loaded into the cooking mechanism before bed. That means breakfast now consists of bacon that sat, raw and waiting to be cooked, for hours in a bedroom. Lastly the proud, if not burned or food poisoned, victim/owner of the Wake ’n’ Bacon will now have a room which constantly smells like greasy bacon. This is the trifecta of breakfast horrors.

2. Ionic Ear: The only item on this list which will turn you into a cyborg, the Ionic Ear is a bluetooth headset which is fitted inside the human ear and charged at night. A quick one-time surgery means no more fussing with your Bluetooth headset or device.*

*Additional surgery required for all upgrades.

1. No Fly Cone: This super sleek cone sits on top of your dog’s poop to keep flies out of your yard! Magic! It’s almost as if properly disposing of dog mess will never be necessary again. Instead, dog owners can leave hundreds of little cones around their backyard and then… well… leave them there we guess. Maybe just stick with throwing it away.

Best Shark Tank Products That Could Have Made You a Millionaire
by Roger On May 31, 2017

Sometimes you get the idea of the century and make a million dollars. Sometimes, well, you don’t. That’s the premise of the TV show Shark Tank. People bring their ideas to a panel of professionals and hope one of them will financially back the idea. In today’s blog, we’re going to look at the top 5 ideas ever pitched on Shark Tank that will make you think “I should’ve thought of that!”

5. Baker’s Edge: This genius invention is here to give us everything we’ve ever wanted: and endless supply of edge piece brownies. Though they did not get the investment they hoped for on Shark Tank, the inventors of the Baker’s Edge continue to sell products to those of us who unabashedly lust for the corner pieces. They have since released a muffin pan and are still selling the killer creation that is the Baker’s Edge.

4. BetterBack: Sitting in front of a computer all day can be bad for posture and health. That’s why the inventor of BetterBack made a type of sling for your back which connects to the knees and corrects posture. The show aired recently but sales seem steady and there is a new Kickstarter campaign for a larger version.

3. Squatty Potty: Something everyone has to do and doesn’t think much about is using the bathroom. The inventor of the Squatty Potty did some digging and discovered that the human body is not actually built to make sitting on a toilet a comfortable or effective way to relieve yourself. The Squatty Potty elevates the feet so that going to the bathroom is done the way it was meant to be. The item has been heavily advertised on social media, most likely due to the frivolous nature of the product, which could be a direct cause of its success.

2. Groovebook: Everyone has a bunch of pictures on their phone just taking up space. No one wants to get rid of them because they help to remember some really great times, but people are making photo albums less and less. This is where Groovebook comes in handy. For just $2.99/month, Groovebook takes your phone’s pictures and turns them into a photo book which gets sent directly to your door. The product has an app for iPhone and Android and sales are on the rise as people figure out how much easier it is to have someone else make photo albums!

1. Drop Stop: Driving in the car is all fine and good until your phone gets stuck between the seats. You’re trying to use Google Maps and now have one hand driving and one searching for the phone but instead an old french fry and a nickel surface. It’s frustrating. That’s where Drop Stop comes in handy. It sits in the crack between your seat and the center console to keep your items out of the abyss. With a hole to fit the piece around the seatbelt, its the perfect “if I thought about that I’d be a millionaire” product.

Any one of these products is a million-dollar idea thought up by an every day person. Every person can develop their brand, even if that brand is helping people use the restroom! But be sure to look out next week when we look at the Shark Tank flops and what went wrong!

Tools and Tricks for Memory Retention
by Roger On May 24, 2017

So, your memory is no good. At least that’s what you learned last week, anyway. But, as promised, there are some helpful tools to improve your memory that we’ll go over this week. So put your thinking caps on, and get reading.

Not to beat a dead horse, but we know by now that rote memorization is an imperfect system. Simply going over information repeatedly isn’t going to help anybody in the long run. But what does work? Most people have an easier time remembering information if they associate images with that information. That’s because your brain processes an image much better than repetition.

Imagery and Memorization

Last week we did a little exercise by giving you a list and telling you to memorize all the things on it. Taking that same list, we’re going to split it up into four lists of five items, and number them.

| 1. a unicorn | 6. beer | 11. chopsticks | 16. candles
| 2. electrical outlet | 7. hockey stick | 12. roses | 17. wizard
| 3. tricycle | 8. spider | 13. black cat | 18. golf green
| 4. truck | 9. baseball | 14. gold | 19. sauna
| 5. hand | 10. dime | 15. dollar sign | 20. dartboard
Now, we’re going to do something a little different than last time. With each item, we are going to really focus on an image in our mind. Don’t just skim over these things, really take your time and you’ll get the best outcome. However, make sure not to study the list for more than 3 minutes.

1. See a brilliant white unicorn with his 1 horn.
2. See the beige electrical outlet with its 2 slots.
3. See the red tricycle with its 3 black rubber wheels and a 3 year old kid on it.
4. See the truck with its 4 wheels, its 4 doors, and the for sale sign in the window.
5. See your hand with its 5 fingers.
6. See that 6-pack of beer (you choose your favorite brand).
7. See the wooden hockey stick shaped like a 7.
8. See that big black spider with its 8 legs.
9. See that round baseball being tossed around by the 9 players on the field for 9 innings.
10. See that 10 cents, the thin, silver, shiny dime.

Now that we’re halfway through the list, take a little break. Refresh each of the images in your mind once more before moving on.

11. See those thin chopsticks that look like the number 11 being pulled out of their wrapper.
12. See those 12 beautiful red roses in a bouquet.
13. See that black cat on Friday the 13th.
14. Vividly see that 14-carat gold coin (or bar or nugget or ring; you choose).
15. Take the two digits of number 15 and squeeze them together into a dollar sign.
16. See 16 flaming candles on a birthday cake. Maybe even sing the song…
17. See that young wizard with the round glasses graduating from Hogwarts at age 17.
18. See that golf green with its perfectly cropped green grass on the 18th hole.
19. See 19 sweaty guys in that sauna.
20. See that round, light-up dartboard with the 20 scoring stripes and the number 20 on the top.

Now that you’re through the whole list, just take a minute to review. Now make a list 1-20 and see how much of the list you can remember. Better than before? It’s amazing how well your mind can retain information when you do it the right way! Even though some of the images weren’t directly related to the number, you were still able to remember them. For many more exercises just like this, check out my book Train Your Brain For Success.

Evaluating Your Memory
by Roger On May 17, 2017

Last week we talked about how we learn, and why it’s wrong. If you think your memory is bad and there’s no way to improve it, think again. Most of us have been taught to retain information by repetition. Looking at the information over and over again until we think it’s been memorized. But now we know, rote memorization is a faulty way to learn. Sure, the information you “memorized” will stick in your brain long enough to pass a test. Long term, you can kiss that information goodbye. There is a better way!

In this week’s blog, let’s really evaluate the way that our mind works. That way, you’ll really understand how your brain stores information. Plus, when we get around to new ways to memorize information it will make much more sense.

The Starting Point

To properly evaluate your memory, think about where you’re starting from. If you had a list of 20 different items, how well do you think you could remember everything on the list? Go ahead, try it out. Write out a list or use ours:

| a unicorn | chopsticks
| an electrical outlet | a rose>
| a tricycle | a black cat
| a truck | gold
| a hand | a dollar sign
| a can of beer | a candle
| a hockey stick | a wizard
| a spider | a golf green
| a baseball | a sauna
| a dime | a dartboard

Take about 5 minutes to slowly look over this list. Really study it and try to memorize all the things on the list. Don’t cheat, no writing things down. Use only your mind and take no longer than the 5 minute time span. Now, without looking at the list can you write everything down that you just studied? Probably not. Even if you didn’t do so well, don’t worry. This is simply a test to see where you started from.

The Rule of 7

Most people don’t have a specific system for remembering things. As a result, our brains can only remember about 7 things, (plus or minus 2). Sometimes, that number is even less than 7, around 3 to 5. When trying to memorize the list above, you may have noticed that you struggled around the 7th item or so. If you were able to memorize more, it’s likely that you were using a system other than rote memorization.

Primacy and Recency

When dealing with large lists of information, the brain tends to commit the top of the list and the bottom of the list to memory the best. The middle, however, doesn’t have the same luck. This isn’t a bad thing, primacy and recency are just the way that our brains naturally work. Knowing this we can manipulate it to work better for us. For example, take the list above and break the items into lists of five items. If you were to try and memorize the four lists of five items, I bet you’d have better luck this time around.

Now that you understand a little bit about how the mind stores information, it will be easier to do the exercises in the coming weeks.

How to Improve Memory Part 1
by Roger On May 10, 2017

Basically, everybody wishes they had the tools to improve memory. Think about it, we rely on our memory in various different ways every single day. Everything we know how to do is learned, even tiny tasks like eating a meal. As a species, we’d be nothing without our memory. How many times have you wished for a better memory? However, it’s not actually your memory that’s the problem but your ability to recall certain memories. Your brain records everything that happens to you, from books you’ve read to movies you’ve watched. The trouble is, sometimes it’s hard to tap into those memories.

But, there are ways to improve memory by training your brain to store information in the most efficient way. This week we’ll talk about the way in which most of us learn things and why it’s wrong. Also, we’ll go into depth about the teachability index and how to get your score.

Old School Learning

In order to better the way we process and store information, we need to be aware of how our brains currently do those things. The majority of the world remembers things by using what’s called rote memorization. This means that things are learned using repetition, aka going over information over and over again. The problem with rote memorization is that you retain information just long enough to take a test if you know it’s coming up. Eventually, you won’t be able to recall that information because that’s a faulty way of learning. Unfortunately, most of us have been using rote memorization since grade school.

Teachability Index

The information we provide on how to improve memory is great, as long as you are ready to learn and apply it. The teachability index is the way we measure how ready you are to learn. There are two parts of the teachability index, each ranked with a score of 1 through 10, with 10 being the highest. First, you rank your desire to learn which is fairly easy. Assuming you are interested in improving your memory, your score will likely be pretty high.

The second part of the teachability index is more difficult. This component is called your willingness to change and can be difficult to gauge. For the most part, we get into our zones of comfort and therefore don’t necessarily have a strong desire to change. But if you make a conscious effort to boost your number, you’ll get there. Rate your willingness to change on a scale of 1 through 10.

In order to get your teachability index, you simply take the two numbers and multiply them together. If either your desire to learn or willingness to change scores are low, your overall teachability index will be low.

Charge It. Small Businesses Benefit From Credit Cards
by Roger On May 3, 2017

Having a separate credit card for your small business has many advantages. There is often a higher credit limit, many credit cards offer reward programs, and small business credit cards generally have lower interest rates than personal ones. With a credit card specifically for your small business, you can give employees a company credit card with preset spending limits. Separate accounts keep your business expenses completely detached from your personal expenses, which makes life easier during tax season. It also protects your personal assets, like your house and your car, if your business gets sued. Having a company credit card establishes proof that your business and your personal finances operate separately. Before you commit to a company credit card, understand what to look for and check out our recommendations.

Tiered or flat rate rewards systems

Tiered rewards systems offer cash back, points or miles at different rates that are determined by how the cardholder spends money. The more you spend, the more rewards you can receive. Flat rate rewards are becoming more common because they typically have better long-term benefits. With these programs, cardholders receive rewards at a standard rate. Additional cash back can be earned from making purchases in a certain category or paying your bill on time.

The Importance of APR

Another important part of a credit card is the annual percentage rate (APR). When cardholders don’t pay off their credit cards, they are charged interest that’s based on a percentage of the remaining balance. If you have a low APR, you will be charged less interest on the money in your credit card balance that you don’t pay off. In order to qualify for a low APR credit card, you have to maintain a high credit score. People with lower credit scores tend to have higher APRs. In addition to an APR, credit cards typically have other fees.

Capital One Spark Cash for Business

The Capital One Spark Cash for Business credit card offers customers flat-rate rewards. To qualify, you must have a good to excellent credit score. There are no foreign transaction fees and it offers a flexible rewards system. Since the rewards program doesn’t have an expiration date, you can redeem them for cash back at any time. The $59 annual fee is waived for the first year and there’s an opportunity to earn a one-time cash bonus of $500.

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

The Ink Business Cash Credit Card from Chase provides a $300 cash bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first three months. There’s no annual fee and 0% APR during the first 12 months. With this credit card, you can add employee cards with no additional cost. The tiered reward system is best for companies that regularly spend a lot on business expenses.

The Enhanced Business Platinum Card

American Express offers The Enhanced Business Platinum Card for small businesses that require a lot of travel. There is no spending limit and there are no foreign transactions fees. Cardholders benefit from premium travel perks on qualified airline purchases. With this credit card, travels have access to airport lounges worldwide. The $450 annual fee is intimidating but it can be written off as a business expense in your taxes. The Enhanced Business Platinum Card is a charge card, not a credit card. This means you have to pay the full balance each month.

Choosing a credit card for your small business can be intimidating but it’s an important tool to further develop your company. If you read the fine print and understand what you’re looking for, a company credit card will have many advantages for your small business.

Incredibly Unique Businesses
by Roger On April 26, 2017

The world we live in is ever changing, with new businesses popping up everyday. It seems like almost everyone is chasing the “American Dream”. A great business is one that solves a problem, and sometimes, business ideas fall flat. On the other hand, we’ve seen a great spark of truly unique businesses.

Bring your own container grocery stores

First of all, we live in a time when it’s so important not to be wasteful. The worlds population continues to grow as our resources diminish and landfills become more of an issue. To combat this, a lot of people are living more “green” lives. Plastic waste floods our oceans and impacts sea life on a daily basis. A lot of cities across the US have already banned plastic bags. One way to cut back on waste is by shopping at a reusable container grocery store. Store owners buy food in bulk from reusable containers, and sell them to consumers. Store patrons use glass jars or cotton bags to measure out the amount they need.

Cat Cafes

Secondly, one of the most unique businesses out there are cat cafes. They originated in Taiwan in 1998, where Japanese tourists took to the idea. Since then, cat cafes have gotten very popular in Japan. In fact, Japan now has over 150 cat cafes. Interestingly, many Japanese apartment homes do not allow pets. This could be a contributing factor to the cafes popularity, people just want to interact with animals. They believe that cats can help relive the stress of working and everyday life. Cat cafes have begun making their way to the states, which has been a challenge due to health and food regulations. As long as the area where cats are held is completely separate from food, it’s considered okay. What’s more, most of the cats in these cafes are up for adoption.

Glass Art Ashes

Next on our list of unique businesses, is a great way to remember loved ones who have passed on. Some glass blowers are creating beautiful keepsakes, with the ashes of a relative or pet. These can help make the grieving process a lot easier for some people. Plus, it’s a great way to display someone’s ashes rather than keeping an urn.

BarkBuddy

It’s been said that dogs resemble their owners. Maybe that’s because people self consciously adopt animals that are like them. But have you ever thought about searching for the perfect best friend on what seems like a dating app? Probably not, but what a cool idea! Barkbuddy does just that. The app allows you to scroll through dogs up for adoption in your area. You can read bios, look at pictures and “swipe left” just as you would on a dating app. With time, the suggestions get better in tune with you, until you find the perfect pup!

Sleep is NOT for the Weak
by On April 19, 2017

If you don’t get enough sleep at night, you will most definitely feel groggy the next day. Exaggerated yawns and tired eyes are just the beginning of negative effects of sleep deprivation. Over time, much worse things can happen if you continually get less than a solid 8 hours. For example, a sleep deprived person may have serious emotional problems.

There is not set formula for how many hours of missed sleep makes you sleep deprived. Everyone will feel the effects of insomnia in different ways. But, if a person doesn’t feel alert and awake in the morning, they are considered deprive of sleep. Not only can sleep deprivation lead to emotional problems but an array of physical problems as well. Interestingly, the effects take such a toll that is considered unethical to force deprivation on another individual. For this reason, when studies on sleep deprivation are done the subjects are very closely monitored in a medically safe environment. Studies like this are important, however, because it helps researchers understand how vital sleep is for mental and physical health.

Emotional Rollercoaster

In the beginning, the effects of sleep deprivation are on the smaller scale. Although, it’s obvious that when you’re tired your brain just doesn’t seem to work as well. Even the smallest amount of sleep deprivation can influence cognitive and emotional function. Usually, the effects of sleep deprivation are first seen as being unable to show positive emotion on your face. In addition, sleep deprived people will also have a hard time recognizing other people as happy too. In fact, to them, a happy person may look like they have a neutral expression. Most of the time, a neutral expression can be interpreted as negative. So sleep deprivation can really skew reality. Plus, someone who is deprived of sleep may have a hard time dealing with disappointment.

Microsleeps

Another result of sleep deprivation is what’s called microsleeps. These are essentially little sleep sessions and can last up to 30 seconds. When someone falls into a microsleep they might even still have their eyes open. The scary thing about microsleeps is the person is basically blind, and unable to process information. This can be incredibly dangerous, especially if you’re operating heavy machinery or driving.

Delirium

A lot of people say that after a sleepless night they feel a little loopy. When it comes to really extreme cases, people can even experience delirium. But actual delirium is when a person becomes totally and completely disoriented. In the ICU of hospitals, some patients get what is called ICU delirium. This occurs because there are lights and sounds that continue all day and night. Some doctors even believe that the worst thing you could do for someone who is sleep deprived is put them in a hospital. It’s actually very common for many patients to develop insomnia.

Hallucinations

Lastly, another side effect of chronic sleep deprivation is seeing things or hallucinations. Whether or not true hallucinations happen as a result of being sleep deprived is still an unanswered question. Although, your mind can definitely play tricks on you which can be scary.

Hit the Snooze Button

If all of these effects of sleep deprivation doesn’t make you want to immediately take a nap, maybe some positives will. Those that get a full 8 hours a night can look forward to increased mental clarity. Plus, a good amount of sleep can help you learn new things easier and improves memory retention. A lot of people would agree, being fully rested helps you live a more enjoyable life. Sleep is good for the brain, but also the body. Athletes who are well rested perform much better, and those hoping to lose weight have more success.

Be There and Be Dumb: Tips for your First Day on the Job
by On April 12, 2017

Ah, the first day: racking your brain trying to figure out what the person in charge wants, worrying about the timing of your bowel movements, unpacking your crayons, and well, that was just second grade. Though you’ve hopefully graduated from wax to ink in terms of writing utensils, those same worries also come with your first day at a new job. For that reason, we decided to some advice to anyone preparing to sit down at a new desk.

Be There

The similarities between elementary school and workplace don’t stop at nerves, because a crucial key to success is similar: just be there. My dad’s take on school was always: “50% of it is just showing up.” and unpacking the phrase, you find it has some hidden wisdom. Being punctual and concentrating on being in the moment are two things that are often taken for granted, but go a long way in making a first impression. If you establish yourself as reliable, responsible, and focused in the office, regardless of your work output, superiors will see you as someone who has potential to add value to the company.

Being there also means taking advantage of the day to day opportunities to interact with co-workers. Often the toughest part of starting a new job can be finding where you fit in the office’s social environment, and being there means jumping at every chance to find out. Somebody invites you to lunch? Be there. Darts after work? Be there. Morning roller derby league on Wednesdays? Be there.

Be Dumb

Yes, everyone says it. So, why aren’t you listening? ASK QUESTIONS. The first few days in the office are a safe zone where you can clear up any confusion, and be inquisitive with the guise of being the “newbie” to protect you. It’s almost complete stupidity immunity.

Again, everyone has been told this before, so ask the questions that will separate yourself from the other recent hires. Be patient during explanations and have the courage to ask about processes. You were hired in part for your perspective, so being afraid to question how things are done is doing both yourself and the company a disservice. Now, do so without sounding like a cocky-know-it-all. Make sure you understand the dynamic, before you suggest improvements. However, getting involved in a discussion about how the company does things not shows you care enough to about what your superior is saying to apply critical thinking, but also shows your aptitude as an employee.

So, there you have it, if day one nerves have your mind racing, you can rest easy, knowing all you have to do is be there and be dumb… A few extra crayons pens might help too.